The official blog of author Jean Marie Bauhaus

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The Dominion Shuffle

Not long ago, I decided to start querying agents about Dominion of the DamnedMore recently, while I was doing research on querying self-published novels, I became convinced that it would be a good idea to take it down from all the places that were selling it. But then wiser and more knowledgeable folks than I convinced me that I’d made a mistake. So now it’s back up on Amazon, at a lower price point and with a new and improved plot description.

I’m still planning to send out queries on it, but I’m also going to start marketing it again (or just start marketing it, period; really, life kind of sidelined me before I got a chance to really put any kind of effective marketing campaign into motion for this book in the first place) and try to boost the sales numbers first. I’m finally reading David Gaughran’s Let’s Get Visible, and I expect it to be very helpful in this regard.

319 words added to Radium Town today. I would post a non-spoilery snapshot, but my computer is low on resources and I’m afraid of what will happen if I open Scrivener again. This is the first I’ve written on it since last week (possibly since my last word count update here). I’m starting to be kept busy with work I’m getting through Fiverr, and also with optimizing my profile there to keep the work coming. I gotta tell y’all, Fiverr has been a revelation, and I’m planning a big blog post about it here in the next day or two.

I also had a heck of a time with not getting enough sleep during the last half of the week. I had standard insomnia coupled with a tension headache after I went to bed on both Wednesday and Thursday, then Friday morning I woke up shortly after 5 AM to Pete having a seizure (his fourth this month). Saturday morning he woke me up again at around 4:30 AM by just being restless and pacing the bed, acting like he couldn’t get comfortable, which went on for hours. Still, I managed to get yard work done on Saturday despite feeling like poo. Sunday, as you can imagine, was for catching up on sleep and vegging out in my PJs along with Matt.

I wanted to get more writing done tonight, but I still haven’t caught up on all my lost sleep, and I’ve got a big day tomorrow, starting with a vet appointment for Pete to see about starting him on anti-seizure meds, followed by needing to complete several freelance writing gigs for Fiverr. So once I post this, I’m heading to bed. G’night, everybody.

A List O’ Updates

Bullet list style!

  • The job hunt is still on. I’m hoping to have some good news by the end of this week. But I’ve been hoping that every week for a while now, so….

  • The flash fiction I submitted to the local publisher has been accepted… except that I haven’t been given a contract or anything yet, so I’m going to call the acceptance tentative until something more official happens.

  • Eucha Falls is still under submission to the horror anthology. The latest update is that so far they’ve rejected about 40% of submissions and passed about 6% on to the head editor for consideration. Supposedly they started sending out rejections and notifications last week. I’m choosing to interpret the fact that I haven’t gotten anything yet as a hopeful sign.

  • This week I started another short story to submit for another anthology. The anthology is about cyborgs. My story is about a steampunk cyborg pixie. I’m not sure if that’s quite what they have in mind, but I’m going for it anyway. My short stories usually end up either super-short flash fics or novelettes that are too long for anyone to want to publish. I think this time I’m going to manage to strike a happy medium.

  • I think I’ll continue to focus on short stories and flash fiction until I’m ready to get back to noveling, which will probably happen in November with NaNoWriMo. When that happens I’ll most likely be writing the sequel to Dominion of the Damned. I feel bad about keeping Radium Town on the back burner, but really, I think the smartest business decision I can make as an indie is to finish the series I started and focus on generating a fan base before I branch out. For now I can look to short stories for spreading my writer wings to other sub-genres.

  • I went for a walk today, which is worth mentioning because, other than yard work, it’s the most exercise I’ve gotten in probably two months. I’ve been feeling sick and sore all over from all the physical inactivity. One walk isn’t enough to fix me, but it’s a start.

A Tiny Glimmer of Hope


Project: Radium Town, the Steampunk Weird West adventure set in my hometown of Claremore, Oklahoma at the dawn of statehood and featuring Will Rogers and Tom Mix.

Writing stage: First Draft

Today’s Word Count: 485. It came really close to being zilch, so I’ll take it.

Total Word Count: 5,030

What happened: Betty met Mary Bayless, the richest woman in town, who invited her and the professor to dinner.

Favorite line(s):

Still smiling, she extended her hand. “I’m Mary Bayless. My husband John was a great admirer of the professor’s.”

“Was?” Betty asked as she shook the woman’s hand. “Did the professor do something to sour Mr. Bayless’s admiration?”

“Not at all.” Her smile wavered only an instant as she said, “Mr. Bayless passed away earlier this year.”

“Oh.” Brilliant deduction there, Agent Blake. “I’m so sorry to hear that.”

C25K/UFYH: Not a durn thing, on either count. But I was right about yesterday’s Pilates workout leaving me sore, so I don’t feel too bad about it.

Other: Took Sasha back to the vet for a checkup. The vet told us that she attended a seminar the other day and learned about an experimental treatment that might help. She ran tests and Sasha’s blood count’s not quite high enough to qualify her for it, but the vet is going to do some more research to see if we can do anything to build up her red cell count enough that we can go through with the treatment. It won’t necessarily save her life, but it sounds like it has a good chance of slowing things down and buying her some time and relieving her pain.

Otherwise, I finished the development stage of my client’s website, and now we just need to load in the content. I don’t know how close she is to having all of the copy written, but I’m hoping it’ll be ready to launch by the end of the week. I also got a call from my husband’s cousin, who had a new client lead for me, which if it pans out will shore up the rest of this month for us, so my fingers are crossed that that’ll work out.

Camp Nanowrimo: Day 8


Project: Radium Town, the Steampunk Weird West adventure set in my hometown of Claremore, Oklahoma at the dawn of statehood and featuring Will Rogers and Tom Mix.

Writing stage: First Draft

Today’s Word Count: 625. And I didn’t write all weekend, either. I need to hustle if I’m going to catch up.

Total Word Count: 4,545

What happened: Betty checked into her hotel room. Exciting!

Favorite line(s):

The lobby of the Hotel Sequoyah was grand bordering on ostentatious, with mahogany paneling and marble floors and gilded electric sconces and chandeliers, all polished to a such a sheen that Betty could see her disheveled appearance in any surface she looked at. The decor was a blend of native art and artifacts and Art Nouveau, with a large portrait of Sequoyah himself done in oils gracing one side of the front desk, and a Mucha painting on the other. All of these small town hotels that often served as Betty’s home away from home tended to project a sense of trying a little too hard to look like something you’d find back east, but she appreciated the way this one made at least a cursory attempt to acknowledge the town’s heritage.

C25K/UFYH:I’ve given up on waiting for the weather to stabilize so I can do C25K. If this year follows the same pattern as the last two years, we’re going to have a long rainy spring that goes right into Too Dang Hot To Do Anything, Ever. Also, my knee has been acting up again for no apparent reason, and between that and the weather I think maybe somebody’s trying to tell me I’m just not meant to run a 5K. So since I’d like to be able to wear my birthday jeans without any muffin top sometime this year, today I made myself do Pilates. I went through the whole workout for the first time since I can’t even remember. I’m going to be in so much pain tomorrow.

What else: Came close to finishing the development stage of the YA book series website I’m doing, and wrote a blog post about it. Paid some bills and made some Asian coleslaw for lunch. I need to give Sasha the rest of her vitamins and help Matt give her her nighttime meds, clean the cat boxes, and eat dinner, not necessarily in that order. Then I’m going to fall into bed alongside my husband and dog and watch Justfied (we’re about eight episodes into Season 2) — or possibly catch up on Vegas and/or check out Hannibal — until we can’t keep our eyes open.

Camp Nanowrimo, Day Four


Project: Radium Town, the Steampunk Weird West adventure set in my hometown of Claremore, Oklahoma at the dawn of statehood and featuring Will Rogers and Tom Mix.

Writing stage: First Draft

Today’s Word Count: 664

Total Word Count: 3,920

What happened: The professor had a conniption when his mystery machine got dropped, but Betty smoothed things over with the workmen.

Favorite line(s)

“Agent Blake,” said the professor, “arrest these men.”
“Arrest them? What for?”
“Sabotage! Incompetence! Utter buffoonery! I don’t know, invent a reason!”
“That’s not quite how it works, Professor.”

C25K/UFYH:Did (well, am doing) laundry and wrangled the recycling. Also, the sun came back out so we spent some time in the back yard tossing the football.

Elsewise: Did some troubleshooting on the client project I thought I finished yesterday, and made good progress on the other client project. Didn’t get as much done as I wanted to today, either writing-wise or work-wise. I’ve been pretty scattered and a bit lazy and low on energy for the last couple of weeks. I think it’s probably a combination of the weather, sadness over our sick kitty, and watching the final days of my thirties slip away. At any rate, next week I’ve got to snap myself out of it and get organized, because there’s stuff that needs doing and it won’t get done at this rate.

Getting Acquainted with Agent Blake

Project: Radium Town, the Steampunk Weird West adventure set in my hometown of Claremore, Oklahoma at the dawn of statehood and featuring Will Rogers and Tom Mix.

Writing stage: Character development

What got done: Wrote up a character outline for Betty. Started reading Green Grow the Lilacs (the play on which the musical Oklahoma! is based) to get a sense of early 1900s NE Oklahoma dialect.

C25K/UFYH: Gave Sasha her meds, then cleaned the toilet and attempted to reign in the ridiculous, out of control pile of used shopping bags that are stuffed behind the kitchen table. I started folding them into little “footballs” a la this tutorial. It took me a little less than fifteen minutes to fold a dozen bags, so, about a minute per bag. I think it will take about an hour or hour and a half’s worth of twenty/tens to get them all. Although I may just bag up the rest for recycling and be done with it.

Later: Client projects and then writing some long past-due posts for my design blog. Giving Sasha the rest of her meds. Writing an article or two for Demand Studios, if there’s time.

Achievement Unlocked: Found the Plot

Project: Radium Town, the Steampunk Weird West adventure set in my hometown of Claremore, Oklahoma at the dawn of statehood and starring Will Rogers. Now with bonus Tom Mix!

Writing stage: Research & Plotting

What I learned/accomplished: Found a more detailed biography of Betty Blake Rogers that gave me everything I needed, and the story started clicking into place, and now I have a general back story and plot, which is this:

At the dawn of the 20th century, strange things started happening. All over the world, ancient beings, creatures believed to belong to legends and nightmares, began to wake up and attempt to reclaim their place in the world. The first event happened in the UK, when faerie creatures declared war on Britain and her subjects. Other incidents in other locales made it clear that this was a pattern, and governments around the world began taking measures to defend humanity from these new, ancient threats, gathering together the greatest minds in the world to develop new technologies for fighting these creatures.

In the US, newly elected president Theodore Roosevelt, fresh from one such encounter on the shores of Cuba during what was officially documented as the Spanish American war, establishes a federal Bureau of Domestic Defense, an agency charged with identifying, preventing and preparing to deal with any such threat on American soil.

Shortly after returning home to Arkansas from a lengthy stay with her sister in Indian Territory, where she met and befriended a young rancher named Will Rogers, Betty Blake meets a Bureau recruiter and is offered a job. The seventh of nine children, all raised by their widowed single mother, Betty and her siblings have had to work their entire lives to help support their large family, a situation that prevented her from graduating high school. The Bureau offers her a chance to complete her education and, more importantly, a salary large enough to support her mother and younger siblings. It’s an offer she can’t refuse, and this quiet girl from Arkansas undergoes training that transforms her into a skilled and ruthless government agent.

Five years later, Betty returns to the newly minted state of Oklahoma, assigned to guard a man of science who has chosen the town of Claremore as the site for testing his new steam-powered oil drill, designed to drill deeper and faster than any other drilling method on the market. Claremore has been booming since the discovery of a wellspring of special water with curative properties a few years prior. Nicknamed “radium water,” this mineral water put the town on the map and made it a bustling tourist destination. At the time of Betty’s arrival, the town is even more packed than usual thanks to a celebration of the transition into statehood as well as the renaming of their county to Rogers County in honor of Will’s father.

Turn of the century ClaremoreWill himself, now a vaudeville sensation, has returned home for the festivities, accompanied by his best friend, Tom Mix. When he meets Betty again, sparks fly. For Betty, Will’s arrival is a welcome diversion from a boring assignment. But once the professor’s oil drill is put to the test and found to be a success, it’s time to pack up and return to Washington… that is, until the strange behavior of the townspeople belays those plans. All over town, people are behaving erratically, turning on each other and becoming violent for no apparent reason. Is there something in the water? Or could it be that the professor’s drill has awakened something deep underground, the very sort of something that it’s Betty’s job to prevent?


So that’s the story I’ll be writing, more or less. Now I just have to fill in the details and figure out exactly where it starts and how it ends.

C25K/UFYH: No, but I did get dressed in leaving the house clothes, complete with makeup and styled hair. I have to run an extensive errand this afternoon, so I’m short on time today. Although, if I don’t hear back from one of my clients with feedback on the mock-ups I sent them yesterday, then I might have time to go for a walk later this afternoon. Yesterday, Matt and I went outside to toss the football, and I was even clumsier than usual (which is saying a lot, believe you me) so I got quite a bit of exercise chasing after the ball.

Later: Have to take Sasha back to the vet, which is the aforementioned errand. We’ve been having to take her back regularly since her surgery to have the pocket of skin where the largest tumor was removed drained of fluid. It needs to be drained again, but it also feels like it’s hardening into another cyst, so we need to get that checked out. She’s also not gaining any weight, despite her healthy appetite, and she looks almost as anemic as she did before the surgery. Poor kitty. I hope we can figure out how to get her healthy again.

At any rate, the vet’s way out in Bixby, so this will likely take up a hefty chunk of the afternoon. Afterwards, if Client #1 has sent me feedback, then I’ll work on finalizing their design; if not, then I’ll go for a walk. And then I’ll start sketching ideas for Client #2’s YA book series website.

Epic Running and Not So Epic Tidying

Project: Eucha Falls, the recurring dream/creepy pasta/Slenderman mashup that’s taking longer than any short story should ever take to write.

Starting word count: 9,385

Today’s word count: 928

What happened: The climactic penultimate scene. Lots of running.

Non-spoilery sneak peek:

Without a word, Shane pulled her close and charged at the crowd, dragging her with him as he used his linebacker shoulders to barrel his way through. Melanie closed her eyes and let him pull her, trusting him to get them both through this. She felt hands, both big and small, grasping and tearing at them, trying to hold them back.

UFYH: Gathered up trash and put it in the trash bin, decluttered the entryway and took care of the big pile of mail that had gathered there (I thought about taking before and after photos, but my husband doesn’t really appreciate it when I put pictures of our messes on the Internet for all to see) (speaking of my husband and appreciation, I should also point out that he’s been doing much more cleaning than I have lately, all on his own without any asking or prompting. I’ve got myself a good husband), put away some living room clutter and picked up the dog’s toys. Which probably won’t stay put away for long.

Later: I need to update my portfolio and spend some time marketing my biz and lining up work for next week. Then I have one last thing to do for my last low-paying contract job before I get started on this week’s client projects. And at some point this afternoon I’ll try to take a break and go outside with my husband and enjoy the pretty weather.

Dominion Progress

It’s been a while since I’ve done an update here on how Dominion of the Damned is coming along. I’m still in the first revision stage, but so far it’s going smoothly and I’m starting to gain some momentum. I’m more than halfway through the second draft, and if I can keep devoting a couple of hours a day to it I should have a completed second draft ready for beta readers in just a couple more weeks. And then I have to find beta readers.

The best part is that I’m still really happy with it. I was a little nervous approaching my first read-through after taking almost two months off from finishing the manuscript, but so far I’m loving it, if I do say so myself. I still think it’s the best thing I’ve ever written, and I’m so excited about getting it polished and out there for you guys to read.

Once it’s released to the betas, I’ll revisit the book  cover design and come up with a final version, and get to work publicizing the release date. Then when I get it back from all of the beta readers I’ll do one more pass, editing and formatting as I go. And then it will be ready for release. This time around I plan to do some advance giveaways to help generate buzz. I haven’t worked out all of the logistics of that yet, though. Right now my focus is on simply getting through the second draft. Which, again, is coming along swimmingly.

And here’s hoping I didn’t just jinx it all to heck. ;p

Dominion Progress and Process

I’m closing in on 40,000 words on Dominion. I’ve upped my daily word goal to 1,000 on weekdays, and my weekly goal to 10,000, which means a lot of extra writing on the weekends. If only my lawn would mow itself, this would be a cinch. But I think it’s doable. My goal is to finish it by mid-August.

I finished the second section this week, and made headway into the third. I’ve also got several scenes written for the fourth, since I keep jumping ahead. Whenever a future scene is easier to envision than the one I’m working on, I go ahead and write it. This keeps the writing fun. Of course, it’s tempting to write the whole climax, denouement and everything directly leading up to it, since I can see everything that happens so clearly; but if I write all of the “candybar” scenes (TM Holly Lisle) now, I won’t have anything left to look forward to as I push through the middle.

Even at (almost) 40,000 words, it’s early enough in the story that I’m still setting things up, moving characters into place, getting them together and such. This part’s fun, too, but the part I love best is the interactions and exploring relationships that are already established. I get impatient with my characters when they don’t know each other yet, because in my head they’re already an old married couple. That’s not a spoiler, it’s just a fer-instance.

Of course, first meetings can be fun to write, too.

What about you, dear reader? What’s your favorite part to write, or to read if you’re not a writer (or both)?

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